Q. Where is the bike route?
A. It runs along Oak Grove between Middlefield and Crane St. downtown. In addition to this east-west section, there is also a north-west route along Crane St. from Valparaiso to Live Oak, and another section that continues along Live Oak to University Dr. Here is a map. Here is a VIDEO TOUR OF NEW BIKE ROUTE (BEFORE CHANGES).
Q. Are there bike lanes along the entire route?
A. Most of the route does have dedicated bike lanes, separated with a stripe (Class II bike lanes). Along Crane St., where traffic is light, there are sharrows, which remind cars to share the lane with bicycles. See this detailed map for what the road will look like along different parts of the route.
Q. What are the major safety improvements?
A. The route provides a separate bicycle lane for crossing El Camino Real; previously bicyclists had to mix in with car traffic at this busy intersection in order to get through. In addition, University Ave. has bike lanes instead of on-street parking; before, the narrow street, made narrower by parked cars, was difficult to navigate safely by bike.
Q. Why is this a big deal for Menlo Park?
A. The city commissioned a city-wide Comprehensive Bicycle Development Plan in 2005, which identified Oak Grove as a "good east-west bicycle route." Oak Grove got some minor improvements then, but not the full bike lane treatment (and critically, no "bike lane pocket" for crossing El Camino). In the interim years, area traffic has gotten much worse, making a safer east-west crossing an important public safety issue. In 2016, the city's Bicycle Commission, a group of residents volunteering their time for the civic good, urged the city to prioritize Oak Grove. The relative speed of this particular project is indicative of the city's interest in promoting bicycling and a more sustainable future.
Q. Why wasn't Ravenswood/Menlo Ave., Valparaiso, Glenwood, Middle Ave. or other road selected for this route?
A. While each street has its pluses and minuses, Oak Grove has the distinct advantage of being centrally located as well as easy to reconfigure by adding paint (instead of needing major demolition and reconstruction). It also has considerably less traffic than Ravenswood/Menlo Ave. Note that Oak Grove is simply a first step; if it is a success, it may inspire improvements to other roads.
Q. How can I get news about the pilot?
A. Sign up to get email notifications via the city's Notify Me system. Specifically, sign up for "News Flash" --> "City Council Weekly Digest." You can also "like" the Bike Menlo Park Facebook page.
Q. What happens after the pilot ends in Fall 2018?
A: During the one-year pilot, the city will collect data to evaluate the success of the project. It will count parking occupancy, traffic, the number of bicyclists, and also survey business owners, residents, and users about the route. At the end of the pilot, city staff will present the data to City Council, who will make the final determination as to whether the bike route becomes permanent.
Q. I have a question or concern about the bike pilot. Who do I contact for more information?
A. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be routed to the pertinent staff person.